The ACE Board of Directors casts vision for the shape and direction of the organization and provides support and guidance for ACE staff and members

ACE Board of Directors

Geoff Watts – Intelligentsia, USA - Board Chair - Executive Committee

Geoff Watts has spent nearly two decades as the chief coffee buyer for Intelligentsia Coffee, now located in Chicago, Illinois; Los Angeles, California; and New York City, New York. He has served as an official judge in over 30 international coffee competitions and was a pioneer of the Direct Trade approach to coffee sourcing, which uniquely suits him for his position with ACE. Mr. Watts is the Chair of the ACE Board and a member of the Executive Committee.

Peter Dupont – The Coffee Collective, Denmark - Board Member - Executive Committee

Peter Dupont is founder and CEO of The Coffee Collective in Denmark. Peter began working in the coffee industry in 1998, holds a MSc in water management, and has advocated for the Direct Trade approach in Denmark and around the world, as well as mentored many notable coffee professionals. He also co-authored the book, "God Kaffe" ("Good Coffee”). Peter is a a current member of the ACE Executive Committee. 

Will Young – Campos Coffee, Australia - Board Member - Executive Committee

Will Young is the founder and President of Campos Coffee, located in New South Wales, Australia. Will joined the specialty coffee industry in 1997 and founded the brand Campos Coffee in 2002. He is an avid proponent of Alliance for Coffee Excellence as a means to promote ethics and philanthropy in coffee. Will continues to direct the growing Campos brand in the competitive specialty coffee market of Australia, while advancing coffee quality and compassion around the world. Will is a current member of the ACE Executive Committee.

Augustin Manirakiza - InterCafe Burundi, Burundi - Board Member

Augustin Manirakiza, is the Communication, Promotion & Marketing Manager for InterCafe Burundi and the COE National Coordinator. Augustin has been instrumental in the success of Cup of Excellence in Burundi, speaks to the media regarding Burundi Coffees and regularly represents Burundi at major international trade shows. As a former mill operator and current mango farmer, he understands the challenges faced by all levels of production and marketing.

Dennis Jackson - Bowtruss Coffee Roasters, USA - Board Member

Dennis Jackson has over 17 years of experience in the Specialty Coffee Industry and is currently the Master Roaster and Chief Coffee Buyer for Bowtruss Coffee Roasters in Chicago, IL. and Beverly Hills, California. Before Bowtruss, Dennis worked working as a specialty coffee Roast Master and general coffee consultant in Prague, Czech Republic. Accomplishments include serving as a Certified Instructor for the SCAA and SCAE and he is a past member of the Roaster’s Guild Executive Committee. Dennis earned his Q Grade Cupper accreditation from the Coffee Quality Institute in 2008 while in Colombia. He has served six times as a Cup of Excellence judge and three times as a judge for the “Taste of Harvest” in East Africa. 


Joe Hsu – Orsir Coffee, Taiwan - Board Member

Joe Hsu is the founder and General Manager of Orsir Coffee Taiwan. He is the pioneer specialty coffee bean seeker from the Greater China area. He has judged in multiple Cup of Excellence competitions in every COE participating country and has helped to build the direct relationship between producers and customers since 2006.

Shinji Sekine – Wataru & Co., Japan - Board Member

Shinji Sekine is the Director General/Manager of the Coffee Department for Wataru & Co Ltd. in Japan. Shinji has worked in the coffee industry since 1979 and has attended more than 30 COE competitions as an international juror.  Shinji is also currently Vice President of SCAJ.

Vanusia Nogueria – Brazil Specialty Coffee Association, Brazil - Board Member

Vanusia Nogueria has been the Executive Director of the Brazil Specialty Coffee Association (BSCA) since 2008. BSCA was influential in the first Cup of Excellence competition and has partnered with ACE from the beginning. Vanusia holds a number of advanced business degrees and was a consulting partner at Price Waterhouse Coopers for 15 years. She is also a supervisory board member for UTZ Certified, a nonprofit organization focusing on sustainable farming.

Yunson Lee - Terarosa Coffee, Republic of Korea - Board Member

Yunson Lee is the CEO of Terarosa Coffee in South Korea.  Over the last ten years, her devotion to excellence and transparency in green bean purchasing has resulted in her becoming one of the most knowledgeable and experienced buyers in the explosive South Korean market.  Previously a journalist, Lee continues to write articles and books on coffee origins, preparations and theory.  Her company, Terarosa has been dedicated to the Cup of Excellence cause for the last ten years; having bought 70 Cup of Excellence lots which they proudly serve in their 11 coffee shops.  


Hidetaka Hayashi - Hayashi Coffee Institute, Japan - Hayashi Coffee Institute, Japan - Emeritus

Hidetaka Hayashi is President and Founder of Hayashi Coffee Institute.  He has also served as a consultant to a number of coffee entities for the last 25 years, including International Trade Centre programs. Hidetaka has been a Committee Member of SCAA International Relations Committee since 2002, and was a former President of SCAJ and a former ACE board member.  He has participated in many COE competitions, including the original COE competition in Brazil. 

Kentaro Maruyama - Maruyama Coffee, Japan - Emeritus

Kentaro Maruyama is president and founder of Maruyama Coffee, one of the foremost specialty coffee brands in Japan. In 2001, Kentaro organized Japanese buyers into the influential Japan Roaster’s Network (former Mikatajuku group), which has since been the successful bidder for many top Cup of Excellence lots.  Kentaro has been an international jury member more than 50 times over the years. Kentaro is a former Chair of the ACE Board.

Susie Spindler – Founder, Executive Director, USA - Advisory to the Board


Ann Traumann - Starbucks Coffee Trading, Switzerland - Advisory to the Board


Dr. Alon Halevy - Recruit Institute of Technology, USA - Advisory to the Board


Sunalini Menon – Coffeelab, India - Advisory to the Board